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Bird of Prey  Hen Harriers

Hen Harrier - Photo  Copyright 2006 Laurie Campbell
Photo: Laurie Campbell

Latin name: Circus cyaneus

Size: Length approximately 50cms. Wingspan approximately 110cms.

Distribution: Found in Scotland, Wales, N. Ireland and many parts of north and east England.

Months seen: All year round.

Habitat: The hen harrier is found on open areas with low growing vegetation such as heather moors, coastal marshes and fens.

Food: Small rodents and birds.

Special features: Male hen harriers are pale grey in colour, while the females and juvenile birds are more brown with white rumps. The tail is long, with barred markings. For this reason they are sometimes called 'ringtails'.

The name 'hen harrier' comes from the birds liking of free-range fowl. Over the years the hen harrier has been heavily persecuted because it will predate on game birds.

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  2006 G. Bradley. All Rights Reserved